Saturday, July 16, 2011

Perfecting Chicken Divan Part Two

My recipe for Chicken Divan:
1 large cooked chicken breast, skinless, boneless, shredded
1 head of fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces, including the stem which I peel first
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded, to taste. I bought slices from my local deli that weighed in at .18lb, it was four slices
Curry powder, pepper, salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Shredded Cheddar cheese to top

Steam the broccoli until al dente. Place in the bottom of a 9x9 or 8x8 baking pan. Place shredded chicken on top. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add flour and whisk for a couple minutes over medium heat. Slowly add milk in 1/2 cup increments, stirring to combine after each addition. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly until thickened. Remove pan from heat and add cheese, seasonings and lemon juice and whisk to melt and mix. Adjust to taste. Pour over mixture in pan and heat in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour until bubbly and browning on top. Top with more shredded cheese and allow to melt. Serve. Leftovers can be frozen and thawed out with no real difference in texture or taste. Makes 4 servings.
Note: The original recipe uses a breadcrumb topping, which I have never cared for. I choose to leave it off, but feel free to make one for it if you wish. I would recommend panko instead of the normal ones if I was going to.

Perfecting Chicken Divan Part One

I have tried for years to perfect my mother's chicken divan recipe. I love her recipe, but since I have become lactose intolerant, I can't eat it anymore. Her recipe calls for cream of chicken soup, which is now off-limits to me. How to make this delish casserole without the use of the soup or the copious amount of mayonnaise that it calls for? I tried other stuff over the years but never found the right texture or flavor. Until I had a brilliant idea: Bechamel sauce! I usually use this when making homemade macaroni and cheese but I thought, why not try it with chicken divan? So I did, and it worked! I made a half batch which will be four servings for me and will freeze half to eat at a later time. In part two of this post I will give out the recipe.